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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Roots of Decline: How Government Policy Has De-Educated Teachers of Young Children


This report analyzes labor trends for the early care and education workforce over the past 25 years – notably, an overall decrease in educational qualifications, and persistent wage stagnation – in the light of federal and state policy, and makes a series of recommendations for reversing these downward trends. Losing Ground in Early Childhood Education: Declining Workforce Qualifications in an Expanding Industry, 1979-2004 by Stephen Herzenberg, Mark Price, and David Bradley (2005) is the paper that prompted this policy analysis.

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